It is the greatest retort we can launch at our spiritual institutions: I’m not being fed. This is our way of communicating dissatisfaction. But how much of our spiritual malnutrition is on us and how much is on the institutions serving us?
One of the grave mistakes of leaders (individuals or organizations), is that we love to be depended on. It is maybe the greatest mistake leaders make. The grand task of a leader is to make himself unnecessary, to influence others into ownership, self-awareness, and self-governance.
Assuming an established relationship with God, here are the five evolutions of spiritual nourishment.
A baby needs a caretaker. When we are new to faith, just like when we are new to a trade, we need someone to “show us the ropes”. Sunday morning church is designed to fill this role. You come for one hour during the week. You hear a sermon that challenges your notions. You encounter God through worship, fellowship, and teaching. Before this you were starving to death. And compared to starvation, this nourishment feels like a feast.
The problem is that you are still eating once a week, which really isn’t proper nourishment.
Yet, too often, this level of ‘being fed’ is where we plant our feet. We are happy with the church ‘feeding’ us. And as long as it is doing its job, we can survive the rest of the week with little thought of food. At least at first.